Beautiful Interactive Navigation for SharePoint Online​


Ease of use for your site visitors. No need for the clunky left navigation or extremely wide top navigation. As much as we love our sub sites and its child sites our own, they can get pretty long and nasty looking jumble…

    Ease of navigation ( DUH!)​
    Interactive experience​
    Enhanced user experience, responsive design, visual guidance ​
    Ease of maintenance​(They don’t have to wait around for those smart developers to come add their fancy scripts to include subsite that we created yesterday, you know… we shall be self sufficient, include an item in the dynamic list and be done with it!)
    Above all else, a fashionable landing page(if I say so myself, what? Only I say that? hmmm…whatever.gif..) that attracts users without losing proper functionality​
    Also, ummm…….Why the heck NOT? ​

 Basic Building blocks

  • Team/ Publishing Site (This solution uses JavaScript, Bootstrap libraries. We kinda need to insert CEWP/ScriptEditor)
  • List (We are gonna hook this up with the script to read and render the tiles – ahem..ahem…dynamic ahem..)

    • Title (Out of the box, suffices. Nothing fancy)
    • ImageURL (Single line of text)
    • RedirectURL(Single line of text)
    • Description(Single line of text)

Script &  (You can unleash your creativity here… ie., as acceptable by your team)mask.jpg


  • Go to the home page of your site where you want to insert this navigation widget
  • Why home? Well, you can go to ‘welcome’, ‘adios’,’ciao’,’namaste’ pages of your choice. I chose
  • ‘HOME’  > Edit Page > Insert Content Editor web part > Add the script file reference

(them things need to have a collection of site navigational items to be displayed in the fancy tiles widget!)

Picture1.pngThose that noted the change in list experience, YES, its classic

  • You can switch back and forth between modern/classic
  • Cause you can. I couldn’t quick edit in the modern view, I attribute it to the gods of cloud being upset with my zeal to share a little much
  • There you go! You have the list with some pretty rows!


This script file/reference needs to go into either a Content Editor Web Part or Script Editor web part.(BuildTiles.js)


This is a lot of fun to mess with and unleasing your inner artist. (StyleTiles.css)

Now create a page in your SharePoint site and insert the web part with your script file.(BuildTiles.js)

Thats it kids! Here ya go, your custom attractive navigation tiles!
No video no proof! Right? 😉
Here you have the demo of the list, and how the interactive navigation can be used in your SharePoint site.

Enjoy your fancy navigation for SharePoint Online-Office 365!

Keep learning and sharing…



Communication Sites – site text

I found an interesting issue and wanted to see if any of you know whats happening/ cause of this.
When creating communication site, the title, description and URL fonts are gray/white in color. I have customized the site design and choose Oslo with dark theme, for my root site collection. That should not have changed the styles for new communication sites as well should it?
Hmmm…me be curious if I caught a bug?
I think immaterial of the theme of parent site, site collections should have their own default font theme.

Here is what I saw,

font white comm

Any one else experiencing this?

FREE @Office365 workshop

TOMORROW: Free @office365 workshop @SharePoint @WSPDC we have an amazing line up of @microsoftwomen speakers!<3 We are ready to soak up all the information that our speakers share and take back knowledge with us. Which is a huge takeaway for me personally. 🙂 Special note of thanks to all the speakers: Susan Hanley Nikkia Tia Carter Melissa Hubbard @Amie Seisay @Mary Alex Rima Reyes for generously sharing your time with our usergroups community. Thanks and hope to see some of you tomorrow at MS Reston! 🙂

No script editor installed? Want to style your page? No Problem!

As the old adage goes “Where there is will there is way!”, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”, or as the Tamil saying goes, வல்லவனுக்கு புல்லும் ஆயுதம். “If you have the ability and talent, you can achieve success with whatever (minimal) resources available at your disposal.” (for more on this check here)

As long as I have a notepad, I can create scripts, HTMLs, jQueries and magical flip/ bling CSS effects on any page. Mostly on Office 365 SharePoint Online pages hehe! But, this is not about the wonders of all that you can do with Notepad.

This is about what other options you have at your disposal, that would allow you to build stunning appealing Site Pages in a matter of hours with a list of useful online resources that I use and like. So, here goes:

Number 1:


Top of the list is LayoutIT: this is a bootstrap front end code builder. You can spin up a responsive grid system page with rows and columns effortlessly. All you have to do is drag and drop your number of containers/rows and how many columns you want in it? 6/6 or 4/4/4 or one row? Its all visual and it can’t get any easier than that.

Once you are satisfied with your mockup skeletal design, you can download the code and customize it to your sites/client requirements.


Here you can see nested Containers and Rows with Column and Navigation elements. You can remove and add additional divs, CSS and Scripts as well and download the file. (You can sign up, but you can get the code forgoing the option as well..pretty cool in my opinion)

Note: Make sure to include your cdn in the file you downloaded (duh!) Even better, get the latest minified(or not) bootstrap libraries into your Site Assets/ Scripts reference them instead.

Number 2: This site is super cool as I like how it has multiple visualization options for your scripts and custom classes. Ya don’t have to wait at all! I’m an impatient person and I was to see the result right away and it works great for me 😉

What you see below is the “Result” of the rendered bootstrap script I quickly drafted from LayoutIT above. So far so good and pretty cool eh?


Number 3:

You want to learn angular/ bootstrap/ jQuery. Want to curiously browse other folks attempts at learning the same and get inspired by their solutions? Want to share your solutions with the community?

Want to style your code? Want to check the syntax? Get the references to latest CDNs and include them automagically? You get the idea…. get to Plnkr!

If you have a GitHub account, you can use it to join login with the same on Plnkr as well. Its all awesome. Save your plunks and show off your work!


Ofcourse there is also W3schools editors you can try

With these tools under your belt, you can tackle some of the day to day design challenges if your environment doesn’t have development tools yet and you still wish to be productive and contribute to the team, progressing towards your assigned task completion – these can come in very handy.

These are a few of my go-to tools and I wanted to share them with ya! Now, after all that mentions, if I don’t show something colorful, I’ll feel I didn’t give you any take-aways for the time you spent reading this. 🙂

So here ya go: My last post talked about getting SharePoint Site Usage reports in Office 365 SharePoint Online page and how you can get a cool looking dashboard with Excel Web Access web part.

If you would like to include Document Library analytics into the page as well with some prettied up links to Most viewed/popular documeents in the site’s libraries then

  • Try using LayoutIt for getting your desired bootstrap grid that appeals you
  • Take it to dabblet/plnkr and include the cdns for bootstrap for responsiveness and styles
  • Get the URLs for links you wish to display in your SharePoint Online site page., it could be your Most Popular Library items from the library ribbon icon, your top documents/ contributors. Your web site/blog address etc., and then include that in your script’s anchor tag with button style.
  • I used a library called font-awesome to derive icons from there for using in my images. They have a wide collection of icons CSS styles to choose from and I like to use them in all my projects.
  • So here goes: 
    Below is the script with all external reference links to fontawesome as well as bootstrap cdns for responsiveness.

    <!DOCTYPE html>
    <head>  <link rel="stylesheet" href="">  
    <script src=""></script></head>
    <h1>Namaskar, Vanakkam, Welcommen, Bonjour, Hola!!!!!</h1>  
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="">  
    <style type="text/css">    
    i {      color: white;    }        
    #t1 {      border: none;      border-spacing: 10px!important;    }       
    #t1 td,#t1 th {      padding-top: 25px;      padding-right: 70px;      padding-bottom: 25px;      padding-left: 70px;      
    border-radius: 7px;      border-collapse: separate;      background-color: white;    }        
    td:hover {      opacity: 1;      outline: none;      border-color: #9ecaed;      box-shadow: 0 0 10px #616466;    }        
    #content {      height: auto;      float: left;    }      
    <div id="container">    
    <div id="content">      
    <table id="t1">        
    <td style="background-color:#ff7b5d"><a href="" style="text-decoration:none;color:white;"><i class="fa fa-group fa-3x "></i><br/><br/>Google</a></td>            
    <td style="background-color:#c6acff"><a href="" style="text-decoration:none;color:white;"><i class="fa fa-check-square-o fa-3x"></i><p>Swetha Sankaran</p></a></td>            
    <td style="background-color:#72b1ff"><a href="" style="text-decoration:none;color:white;"><i class="fa fa-area-chart fa-3x"></i><p>Microsoft</p></a></td>          
    <td style="background-color:#9b2e73"><a href="" style="text-decoration:none;color:white;"><i class="fa fa-adjust fa-3x "></i><p>YouTube</p></a></td>            
    <td style="background-color:#5bad4e"><a href="" style="text-decoration:none;color:white;"><i class="fa fa-pie-chart fa-3x"></i><p>Women In SharePoint DC, FEDSPUG</p></a></td>            
    <td style="background-color:#e23155"><a href="" style="text-decoration:none;color:white;"><i class="fa fa-newspaper-o fa-3x"></i><p>Link2Swe</p></a></td>          
     <!-- content to be placed inside <body>…</body> --></body></html><!-- content to be placed inside <body>…</body> -->

Here is the video/script on display at dabblet in its full swing!

This is just a kick starter for all the possible things you can do with designing and making your Office 365 site functional until you get your tools deployed and available to use.

These are some of my go to options. Please feel free to comment/share other tools you use that makes your lives easier to provide efficient solutions that meets clients needs and satifies their requirements and we can learn together.

Sharing is most definitely caring and the more we share we grow stronger together! 🙂

With that wise thought of the day, signing off from www, is Swetha! Have a beautiful Thursday folks, may it bring you all sorts of happiness and productive solutions your way.


Popularity Trends in #Office365 #SharePoint Online

Once you setup a site and it starts getting traffic there would come a time when you get curious as to how many users are actually visiting your site.

Daily/Monthly weekly? What would you do?

Just use Performance Analytics + Excel Web Access webpart and create a super cool dashboard in half an hour that is extremely functional and serves the purpose. I’m all about leveraging Out of the box solutions.

Picture speaks a thousand words, videos speak a thousand pictures, check out the first video below:

Get the Usage.xlsx

Inset Excel Web Access web part

So its all fine and dandy, functional as well. All good, but what if we don’t want the excel sheet look in the dashboard page? Cosmetic appeal and we have a workaround for that as well.

When Performance Analytics creates the report, there are two named  PivotTable/PivotChart: DailyData1, MonthlyData1 which are included in the Excel Web Access web part by default.

We can customize the chart/report to our hearts content, yes, make it pink/blue/3D/4D whatever else you can do with your magical Pivoting skills, knock yourself  out…lol! Now is your chance. Once you are satisfied with your creativity, select the area you want to display,  create a new Defined Name and include the Pivot Tables and Pivot Chart sections.

Now in your SharePoint Usage Dashboard site page, include the custom Defined Name in the web part properties and Voila! Your clean/ non excelly(yes its a word I made up) dashboard is ready!! Yay!!!


Video showing how to set the new Defined Name(Dashboard) to the sitepage for a cleaner looking Site Usage Dashboard page.

Here is the final dashboard site page

Usage Dashboard

WSPDC-FEDSPUG Office 365 Workshop -featuring all female speakers in our NoVA


DATE: AUGUST 05,2017



Women in SharePoint DC UserGroup(WSPDC) & FEDeral SharePoint UserGroup(FEDSPUG) are proud to bring you a one of a kind awesome workshop featuring female rockstar speakers in Office 365 and SharePoint space.

You have seen how much we love educating and giving back to our IT community and are always striving to bring the best and respected industry SMEs in our as well as encouraging emerging leaders in IT.

This event is different and unique in that we are going to showcase women speakers and leaders from NoVA Office 365 community. This is more than an awesome workshop, its celebration of success and ingenuity of women in cloud and in STEM!

Please join us and support the event!’


    Lions and Tigers and Teams, Oh My! – Sorting through the options to connect and collaborate in Office 365
    Description: Have you noticed that you now have multiple ways to connect and collaborate in Office 365? Teams, Groups, SharePoint, Yammer, Email – how do you provide guidance to your users so that they can make good choices? Too much choice can lead to chaos, while not enough choice can create too much friction for effective collaboration to happen. This session will provide guidance and a framework to help you make the right choices for your organization to help your users get real work done in a hyper-connected world.
    Target Audience: Manager
    Level: 201
    Speaker Bio: Susan Hanley is a consultant specializing in the “people side” of intranet and collaboration solutions. She is an Office Servers and Services MVP and is the co-author of three popular SharePoint books: Essential SharePoint 2007, Essential SharePoint 2010, and Essential SharePoint 2013: Practical Guidance for Measurable Business Results. Her areas of expertise include knowledge management, information architecture, collaboration and intranet strategy, user adoption, governance and business value metrics. Immediately prior to establishing her own consulting practice, Sue led the Portals, Collaboration, and Content Management practice for Dell Professional Services.
    Speaker Contact:
    Title:  SharePoint vs Microsoft Teams vs Office 365 Groups: What Should I Use When?
    Description: Microsoft technology is moving at a rapid pace. New ways to work are being developed rapidly as well. A few such new tools are Office 365 Groups and Microsoft Teams. These look powerful and promising but they seem similar. Also, where do they fit with SharePoint? In this session, we will look at what each is, what their differences are, and when is the best time to use each.
    Target Audience: IT Pro
    Level: 101
    Speaker Bio: Nikkia Carter is the President and CEO of Carter-McGowan Services, LLC, a Microsoft Silver Small and MidMarket Cloud Partner and SMB Champion specializing in modernizing business through the use and understanding of Microsoft technology and modern marketing. Nikkia has a Bachelor’s in Computer Science and a Master’s in IT Project Management and is a CompTIA Certified Technical Trainer and a Microsoft Certified Professional. Nikkia has industry experience since 2001 in software, web (intranet), Office 365, and SharePoint development. Nikkia has spoken at many technical and some non-technical events. She also leads and co-organizes a few technical user group communities and events as well as serves on the Microsoft Inspire (WPC) partner engagement board, Microsoft’s VFI (Voices for Innovation) taskforce, and is a member of the IAMCP DC (International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners).
    Picture URL”
    Speaker Contact:
    Cell: 4103501536, Work: 5406930578 ext 700

Registration is open to EVERYONE on a first come first served basis, but there is always room for who wants to learn and get inspired.

Seating limited to 60, so we encourage you to kindly RSVP ONLY if you are planning to attend IN PERSON.

We will have our sessions on Skype as well – If you are planning to attend on Skype, please make sure to communicate your choice of attendance, so we can plan food sponsoring accordingly.


WSPDC-FEDSPUG leadership team.


Happy YOUR day

Trip which began in the womb,
intertwined through matters
six some say,
but so much more..
Journeying through all its glory,
laughing, sharing, crying sometimes,
but most of all
caring and just being together;
My heartiest wishes
on this day,
just like mine remains,
any other day of the year;
is for more, oh! so much more-
Love,joy and celebrations.
This relationship –
a life giving blessing,
my heart holds so dear!
To all the mothers
& their lovely daughters!
Happy YOUR day!

Decisions, decisions, to own up to!

Thousands of words,
Texts, Tweets, FB status on walls,
Perturbed minds,
Deep in its thoughts,
Still stay awake,
Right or wrong decisions to make.,
Necessity to own them,
One way or another,
Is the reality of life,
Rain hail or feathers.
Then when it comes,
Time to count blessings or regrets.,
We know,
We lived life to our fullest.
What have you done:
In this life of yours?
We say, we chose,
One way first, then another!
To tell our stories,
Loud and clear,
Say here, is where we are
And near.
Our saga continues.,
Names, shapes and locations changed,
Decisions remain,
Our stories bright and bold!
Here we are,
There we chose,
We stood by what we believed,
We boast!
Our decisions,
Are who we are,
We are life;
And this life we host!
–Swetha SankaranRIght or Wrong


Continue reading “Decisions, decisions, to own up to!”